Kush clinches karting crown

India’s Kush Maini clinched the title in the 60 Mini category of the World Series Karting race at the La Conca international Circuit in Muro Lecce (Italy) on Sunday.

According to the information received here, Kush, of Team Baby Race, finished 0.019 seconds ahead of Spain’s Eliseo Martinez.

The 12-year-old Bangalorean, who started racing at the age of seven, said experience of racing in Italy last year helped him. “I spent last year racing in Italy which was a great learning experience for me as I also got several podium finishes in many of the races,” he said. “However, WSK is the biggest race for me and to win here is fulfilling the start of a dream to become one of the best drivers. I am now looking forward to the remaining three races of the Master Series as well as the two races of the Euro Series.”

Kush was third overall in qualifying out of over 41 entries. The Indian, who won two of the heats and came second in one of them, claimed the pole position for the pre-final race.

Kush, who started from the third place, moved into second place behind Martinez in the first corner. Francesco Pagano then overtook Kush and closed the gap on Martinez. In the eighth lap, Pagano overtook Martinez and on the very next lap, Martinez regained the lead as the battle became a three-way affair.

Pagano, who tried to make a move in the last corner, brushed Martinez before going off the track. Seizing the opportunity, Kush made a brilliant pass on Martinez and held on all the way to the chequered flag.

Kush's brother Arjun, who had a bad crash during the first heats, ended up 14th in the KFJ category. "It was a very tough weekend as I had a very bad start on Friday and Saturday but was very happy with the way I drove on Sunday to finish 14th from over 60 of the world's best drivers. I will work hard to come in the top 5 for the races to follow,” Arjun said.

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